Singapore port authority backs project to use ammonia as marine fuel

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has joined an industry-led project to advance the use of ammonia as a marine fuel to reduce carbon emissions, it said on Wednesday.

Norwegian chemical company Yara International ASA has also joined the so-called Castor Initiative and the pair will work with existing members including Lloyd’s Register, Samsung Heavy Industries and MAN Energy Solutions to develop ammonia propulsion ships, the MPA said in a statement.

The shipping industry is examining a range of technologies as it looks to meet a target set by the UN’s International Maritime Organization (IMO) of reducing overall greenhouse gas emissions from ships from 2008 levels by 50% by 2050.

At least $1 trillion of investment in new fuel technology is needed to enable the industry to meet the target, according to a study published in January.

The MPA, the world’s largest bunkering hub, said it would help the recently formed consortium gather insights on safety issues and ammonia bunkering procedures, and gain access to research capabilities in Singapore.

To meet IMO’s 2050 targets, “zero-carbon vessels need to enter the world fleet by 2030,” the MPA said.

“Supporting the enabling role of ammonia in the energy transition, we recognise the need for value chain collaboration to make zero emission shipping by using ammonia as a fuel a reality,” said Magnus Ankarstrand, head of Ammonia at Yara.

The partners hoped their collaboration would spur others in the industry to explore multiple decarbonisation pathways, the statement said.

Reporting by Roslan Khasawneh; editing by Richard Pullin